Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Past my sell-by date?

Last week, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. There, in my local REWE store was a giant array of wine bottles, on sale for the price of €1 each. Just in time for Mother's Day, I thought. I started rummaging through the bottles, slightly embarrassed that I appeared to be the only customer with any kind of enthusiasm for these bargains. There was a lot of dross, but also some good-looking labels, possibly past their best but certainly worth taking a chance on at that price.

Amongst my haul were three bottles of Schloß Johannisberg Gelblack Riesling 2015, which my Vivino app tells me normally retail at around €15. I felt almost heroic, rescuing these wines of noble pedigree from the rummage sale in a one-pig town where hardly anyone would recognise their class, quality and heritage.

The experience, for some reason, brought to mind an article I'd read about ageism in the ad world, particularly in relation to creatives. It's by Madeleine Morris, who has formed a Society of Very Senior Creatives to strike back at feeling of being "invisible and expensive."

Normally, when I'm feeling bright and chipper, and have plenty of work, I don't take too much notice of these articles about ageism, in the same way that I take a lot of the sexism articles with a pinch of salt. I get the feeling that such articles send out messages about how I should be feeling and what I should be experiencing, and there's a slight sense of victimhood about it, which makes me uneasy. I'm sick, for example, of hearing that "women over 50 are invisible in the media" - turn on any medium and you're likely to see Angela Merkel or Teresa May within the first headlines. I think planners may have it easier than creatives in general - it's easier to play the "wisdom and experience" card when you are a strategist.

But sometimes, when I'm having one of my pathetic days (and I do have them), when people don't reply to emails, when I come up against closed doors, when I hesitate about filling in an application form as I know some algorithm has been set up to chuck out anyone born before 1970, then I do start to have nagging doubts.

We drank the bottles of Riesling at the weekend, by the way. The first was distinctly musty and I began to get depressed.

But the second, and third - we couldn't stop at two - were deliciously splendid - in their absolute prime.

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